Business social network LinkedIn will drop its minimum age for membership from 18 to 13 on 12 September, so teenagers can connect with professionals and gain a head start on their career paths.
The company is updating its user agreement to make the site available to students ages 13 and older, depending on country, Eric Heath, director of Legal – Global Privacy and Public Policy at LinkedIn, wrote on the LinkedIn Blog.
In the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia and South Korea, teens will need to be 14 years of age in order to join LinkedIn. In the Netherlands, the required age is 16, and 13 in all other countries.
“Smart, ambitious students are already thinking about their futures when they step foot into high school – where they want to go to college, what they want to study, where they want to live and work,” Heath wrote.
“We want to encourage these students to leverage the insights and connections of the millions of successful professionals on LinkedIn, so they can make the most informed decisions and start their careers off right.”
To help keep them safe online, the youths’ LinkedIn profiles will have default settings so not as much of their personal information will be publically visible, and their profiles will also include more prominent links to information about online safety.
In addition, LinkedIn will deal with support requests from its youngest members separately.
The company also recently launched University Pages.